When news broke that Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter accident on Sunday (Jan. 26), we were left with the news that there were 7 other passengers in the crash who were yet to be identified. Those 7 other people have since been revealed.
Aside from Kobe and Gianna, the other passengers who perished were identified as pilot Ara Zobayan, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Christina Mauser, wife of Matt Mauser.
Following the accident, Matt took to Facebook to confirm the news and ask for privacy for his family. “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
On Monday (Jan. 27) Matt remembered his wife during a phone interview with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on TODAY.
“She was extraordinary,” he said. “She was incredibly witty, funny, funny like nobody you’ve ever met. … She was warm, she was incredibly bright, she was technologically incredibly savvy. She could figure out anything.”
He went on to talk about the future and raising his three children without the presence of their mother.
“I got three small kids, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom,” Mauser added. “I’m scared. I think more than anything I’m a little scared about the future.”
Christina was an assistant coach with Kobe on his daughter’s team. The helicopter was enroute to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, where Gianna was to play in a tournament, when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California.
“Kobe took these kids from private school and just made them gritty and tough. He was dedicated and so was my wife. They were dedicated to these girls, Matt shared in the call. “He saw what an amazing mind she had for basketball. They called her the ‘Mother of Defense,’ MOD. It was a family. They all really cared about each other.”